Thursday, October 11, 2012

Melbourne Fringe review - A Night to Dismember - Will Greenway

Will Greenway has already made an impressive entrance into the the Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe festivals as one half of "The Loungeroom Confabulators", bringing intimate theatre into peoples' homes along with fellow Fringe performer Stuart Bowden. Will brings his first one-man solo show "A Night to Dismember" into the Loft at the Lithuanian club, a fittingly cosy space as we dive headfirst into his sweet madness.

A common tale of doing anything to fit in goes quickly awry in Greenway's world, taking huge surreal twists and turns but ultimately staying true to it's human core. Will's encounter at the beach starts off a series of events. After his arms get bitten off by a girlfriend stealing shark, Will's only solace is a bag of grapes eaten alone, face first, in his room. And when a grieving asteroid crashes into his back yard, the story unfolds as one would imagine- motorbikes made of rabbits, zombies and street gangs of birds. The usual fair.

Will's writing is so strong, his performance so captivating it dosen't take long to be taken on his journey whole heartedly. Although his tale is a living Dali landscape, it's filled with enough genuine human moments that you accept everything thats presented to you.

There's only three more performances left in a mostly sold out run, so check out what could possibly be it's last viewing in Melbourne.

A truly beautiful tale of love, loss and dismemberment.

"A Night to Dismember" is playing at the Loft at the Lithuanian Club till Sunday. 

Melbourne Fringe Review - Joel Tito in the Trial and Death of Socrates (No Relation)

We line up at the always impressive Tuxedo Cat to be told theres a slight delay to see "The Trial and Death of Socrates" starring Vigilantelope's Joel Tito. Smoke billows from the bottom of the door. And then he enters the hall, ushering us all into the venue in a grand Kabuki theatre outfit and manner; Joel as a Japanese warm up act. After a few fluent Japanese jokes fall on deaf ears, it becomes apparent that he's been mistakenly booked under the pretense that we all speak Japanese as well.

It's a fit beginning for an incredible hour of characters, mime and the heartbreaking tale of Socrates (no relation). We're being invited by an omnipotent voice to judge if lonely, socially inept Socrates should live. Socrates lives alone, writes stolen famous prose alone, and holds raving dance parties in his bedroom- alone. At a church service run by a priest strong on football analogies, Socrates asks an audience member to not only become a human keyboard stand but to also complete the unplayable notes using their voice. It's moments with the audience that make "The Trial and Death of Socrates" shine, including seeing the real Joel, as an over-enthusiastic audience member throws off an incredible auctioneer impersonation. Joel is so likeable as the mute, hug-waiting Socrates that I couldn't stop an empathetic "aww" from leave my mouth when the final verdict is handed down. There's also a very high set of production values in the show, with simple lighting, props and audio finishing of a well rounded, comfortable performance.

"The Trial and Death of Scorates" manages a to tie in large characters, existential philosophy and a warm story into one amazing hour of comedy.

Only three more shows for this festival so get in quick. Hopefully he'll bring the show to Comedy Festival next year.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

James Holzier - The Next Big Thing!

However chilling and weird the below example is, I fear it may not be the worst or most desperate attempt at fame that exists. We've all been accepting fame at the shortest and weirdest of talents or notoriety for a while now, and apart from it all dragging us closer to an inevitable cultural black hole that will destroy us all, it gives incentive to the dumb, lazy and talentless. To be honest, I don't know what's weirder from the possum-woman reality star Octomom- her pop single, masturbation video or ads for personal finance. But the below example is probably the most direct path someone has ever attempted in trying to be famous

I first became aware of the story of James Holzier from the website Reddit, a heady mix of cat photos and enormously generous community members. It seems that James has jumped so far ahead of the fame curve, even by-passing reality shows and phone calls of appearances to paparazzi. In example A, James has literally created his own faked paparazzi appearance:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Ground is Lava Presents - Brothers!

We're putting our comedic money (mostly small change) where our mouths are. Sam, Carey and Anna are presenting their first ever live performance, BROTHERS!

Check out the facebook event page here. Details on where to buy tickets coming soon!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My shoulder is pointing wrongly!

It was my first victory playing with my social basketball team, the Whitney Houston Rockets (the name has not aged well). We were ahead by a good margin, I'd scored a few freaky shots, and then I reached for a hail mary steal and landed awkwardly. And I knew immediately what had happened.

For most of my time roaming the footy fields or basketball stadiums as a dumpy teenager, I'd always been the number 4 guy. Not bad too ball handling skills, but not terrible enough to be the complete "unco" kid of the team. I assisted like a mother fucker, and stayed away from anything too complex. My constant memory of playing footy was my well meaning Dad encouraging me to "run towards the ball, Sam!"

So as a cocky 25 year old, when I reached for that ball and heard my shoulder pop, part of me thought this was a long time coming. My teammates huddled around me asI moved gingerly to the stadium couch, me sweating profusely. One of the umpires came over and started telling me about her knee doing something something, how lucky I should feel because she had to drive an hour to get to hospital! What is it with a certain type of person that needs to one up someone as they're trying to avoid passing out in pain? Did she want me to console her, to Wow at her story and offer her my seat?


Coming up with different and unique swearing patterns helped ease the pain. Apparently, swearing increases your pain tolerence and if that's the case then I was dabbling in some heavy duty shit.


My very nice teammates sat as we waited for the ambulance. As the pain grew, I looked up sheepishly at the television, having watched my first episode of The Voice as my shoulder hung loosely from the rest of me. We don't have TV in our house, not in an "We're so much better than you" kind of way, but in a weird black spot of reception kind of way. Three contestants cried. Three. All guys, just so happy with how far they've come.


Having waited for the ambulance for 45 minutes and not turning up ("If this was a pizza you'd want your money back" " HA HA HA!!!!") my girlfriend drove me to the hospital. North Melbourne residents were privy to a pasty 25 year old with a shoulder hanging limp screaming FUCK YOUR CUNTING DICK from the passenger side as we passed over every train line and speed hump Melbourne seemed to offer.

Once in the hospital, I felt a weird surge of pride as I looked around the emergency unit, expecting a Beetlejuice-esq waiting room full of bleeding faces and horror. I was easily the most outwardly injured person there (YAY!) and got to head in pretty straight away. The doctor, a very nice middle aged man, said we can either put it back in now or go under anaesthetic.
"Sometimes you can just massage the area and it'll go back in"
I was seeing what he was doing. "Your not going to use Jedi Mind tricks and push that sucker back in, are you?!" I pleaded with the doctor. He smiled and assured me it wasn't so much like in the movies. After attempting the old slight movement back into place (ARSE FUCKER), general anaesthetic was the wise wise choice. As I went under, I apparently described the painkillers as "Groovy", and in true polite Rankin nature I told all the nurses and doctors that they should get raises. 

And now here I am, T-Rexing my way around the house with my arm in a sling. Moral of the story?

Never try.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Thins" Cheese And Onion Chips.

I wrote a series of letters to "Snack Brands", the owner of my favourite brand of chips, "Thins" Cheese and Onion flavour. I'd like to clarify that while below is a work of fiction, there's nothing fake about my love for "Thins" Cheese and Onion flavoured chips.

Dear SnackBrands.
Your flavour of "Thins" Cheese and Onion flavoured chips are the best thing about my day! After I get up off the futon (trouble in paradise!) the first thing I think about is that first bight of your delicious brand. Although my wife re-deposits my salary for me, leaving scant in the ol' savings account, I routinely collect enough loose change to purchase your bites of heaven.

Thanks again!
Dave Needley.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

First Date Tips

A friend of mine recently went on a first date. Although I've been in a relationship for 5 years, I feel I could still give some advice to those entering (ooh err) the dating scene.

Throwing a partner off guard alters the dynamic drastically.
This is particularly useful if you feel your partner may be somewhat "out of your league". A small compliment wrapped in a negative comment or "Neg" keeps a disinterested and often-flattered partner on their toes.
Try from one of these:

"Your dress looks great on you. Must be popular, I've seen a lot of girls wearing it."
"Your face is a tad to large for your head, in a cute way though!"
"I really like your thick brown hair, it's like Hitlers. Hey, he was still a head of state!"
"Your high heels are great, they make you look like a drunk giraffe attempting to rollerskate. A cute baby one!"
"Out of all the pretty girls in the bar, your at least a bronze in the second tier!".
"Did you fall from heaven...on your face? You squinty faced angel!"

"I know all the guys say this, but you look familiar. Were you on Crime Stoppers?"